6.9/10
2,682
20 user 35 critic
Krimo a 15 years old shy boy falls in love for Lídia who is his classmate.To be able to assume his love for her he decides to take a part in the play that was to be one of his friends.

Writers:

Abdellatif Kechiche (scenario), Ghalia Lacroix (adaptation) | 1 more credit »

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15 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Osman Elkharraz Osman Elkharraz ... Krimo
Sara Forestier ... Lydia
Sabrina Ouazani ... Frida
Nanou Benhamou Nanou Benhamou ... Nanou
Hafet Ben-Ahmed Hafet Ben-Ahmed ... Fathi
Aurélie Ganito Aurélie Ganito ... Magalie
Carole Franck Carole Franck ... French Professor
Hajar Hamlili Hajar Hamlili ... Zina
Rachid Hami Rachid Hami ... Rachid
Meriem Serbah Meriem Serbah ... Krimo's Mother (as Meryem Serbah)
Hanane Mazouz Hanane Mazouz ... Hanane
Sylvain Phan Sylvain Phan ... Slam
Olivier Loustau ... Policier
Rosalie Symon Rosalie Symon ... Policier
Patrick Kodjo Topou Patrick Kodjo Topou ... Policier
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Storyline

In the slums of Paris, a group of students - primarily North African and Southeast Asian immigrants - are staging a class production of the Marivaux play "Le Jeu de l'Amour et du Hasard," about the inevitability of class distinctions. Lead actress Lydia (Sara Forestier) takes to the material, encouraging and bullying the other students to take the production seriously. Meanwhile, her friend Krimo (Osman Elkharraz) plays her love interest on stage and harbors real affection as well.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

student | class | friend | immigrant | boy | See All (127) »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

7 January 2004 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

A Esquiva See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,211, 4 September 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,620, 11 September 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie is dedicated Slaheddine. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Trapped
8 March 2005 | by randolphtacoSee all my reviews

This movie is getting fresh exposure in France thanks to its win at Les Césars, or the "French Oscars" as other countries like to call them. Its success will probably mean that it now gets exposure outside the country, too, and I wonder how successfully.

Though an accurate and contemporary examination of France, the film's world is a foreign one, even to many people living here--the specificity of the setting (the projects, in a "suburb" of Paris), the language (rapid-fire, slangy, "vulgar", and peppered with "verlan", a street language of inverted syllables--the word itself could translate as "wardsback", and how anyone will translate this dialogue I have no idea), and the behavior (mostly arguing--strident, pushy, beautifully repetitive) may not play clearly outside of France. I'm not sure how clearly it plays here, or how willing people are to watch it, especially as it turns the idea of the scary bad French projects somewhat on its ear.

This isn't a criticism of the movie; on the contrary. Kechiche has shot a riveting cross-section of teenagers growing up in social housing, in broken homes and poverty, who lack the tools of expression, and who have adopted the posturing of the wounded (and, in the story, almost entirely absent) adults who raise them, attacking (the movie unfolds at a near-constant level of verbal aggression) and dodging ("esquiver" means "to dodge" or "to evade") one another's attacks with all they can muster.

The film's intensely political side feels almost accidental; in its unfolding, it has great heart, and its actors, who are apparently mostly amateurs from around the shooting location, are outstanding. On the whole, it reminded me a great deal of David Gordon Green's George Washington: a simple love story set against a landscape of poverty, played out frankly and honestly, allowed to unfold at a distinctly un-Hollywoodian rhythm. If Green's film is more beautiful cinematic ally, L'Esquive is more concentrated, more unflinching in its examination of the deep repercussions and violence of economic, social, and familial hardship. Its statement that France is no longer a country of the French-of-French-ancestry, and that its refusal to accept its own transformation does not mean its lost generation accepts its loss, could not be more clearly nor more poignantly made.

Without spoiling or going into detail, there are things about the plot that are implausible, things that probably hurt the film overall, but watching this movie for plot is like watching Ocean's Eleven for social insight. This is a positive study of character in a bad situation, of a stratum of society rarely filmed and still more rarely treated as fairly as it is offered up here, beautifully and eloquently.


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